#replacemovietitlewithebola

Yes, it was trending. The #replacemovietitlewithebola was becoming an epidemic (pun intended). Twitter blew up with comments from both sides, and I watched in amazement and awe as both sides Tweeted. I refrained from the posts (Though I thought How to Lose Ebola in Ten Days, How to Tame Your Ebola, and He’s Just Not That Into Ebola, were all pretty good). I was finding myself in a moral dilemma. Was I a bad person?

First off, I personally have issue with people who shame others over this kind of thing. If you have issue with these kinds of distasteful jokes, you should make an occupation of trolling social media combatting such behavior at all times. So before you go defending the horrific injustice of #replacemovietitlewithebola on Twitter, check your ethics first, and spend the rest of your life commenting on ALL the distasteful trends on Twitter. But, if you’re just one of those people who doesn’t like the #replacemovietitlewithebola trend? I see your disdain for the Ebola jokes, and rebuttal with the fat joke, the diabetes joke, and the Helen Keller joke.

People are all upset about the #replacmovietitlewithebola and yet another trend #fatshamingweek is happening right now on Twitter and is more threatening towards an obvious epidemic. Obesity has claimed the lives of 18% of Americans each year and has been found to be one of the more consistent and harder to deal with epidemics in a nation full of fast food and big demands. The cure doesn’t come from a lab. How can you cure a disease that stems from a combination of DNA and the root of human will?

Also, look up how many Diabetic Memes there are online. I even gave you a link for the sake of ease. The most famous one being the Diabeetus Meme, featuring actor Wilford Brimley as Liberty Medical’s spokesperson. But while everyone is having a good laugh over those, Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the nation. Being a type one diabetic myself, these jokes do hit close to home…and some are meant to be hurtful. But, I am not offended by ignorance as often as some think I ought to be. Why should I expect a teenager in a McDonalds laughing about how it “smells like diabetes in here” to know about my disease when she does not have to live with it? What use is that information to her? Why should I cram it down her throat? People joke about things they don’t understand…sometimes because it is merely uncomfortable to not understand.

So these illnesses are not causing mass hysteria. I get that. Maybe they should be. But they are much more common and much more deadly than Ebola has been, and are much more enduring problems, which is even worse. I think just sitting in a food court at a local mall would probably give you a good view of the many people in that area that are willingly hurting themselves just from eating the food they are…either being diabetic or obese. Sure, these diseases kill over a longer term and Ebola is much faster and more intense, but what we must consider is the public view of such issues. They are issues, yes, but what is worse? Someone who dies knowing they are killing themselves willingly-ish or someone who dies by an illness that has mutated to kill and there is no cure? What is our priority? Who we can treat and save…or those who we can’t save?

We may fear what we do not know, but should we fear what we assume we know?

If those aren’t enough, Helen Keller was Deaf and Blind, and eventually learned how TO FREAKING SPEAK having nearly never hearing another human voice in her life! She became a world renown lecturer and political activist. What did you do with your life again? Post something on Twitter? Cool story bro. Tell it again.

Humans use humor as a coping skill to deal with things that are difficult. It actually has played a greater role in helping sustain people through difficult times…even in Nazi Germany Concentration Camps:

In Night, a memoir written by Elie Wiesel about his time in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, the author discussed humor in the concentration camps and the macabre forms it took:

In Treblinka, where a day’s food was some stale bread and a cup of rotting soup, one prisoner cautions a fellow inmate against gluttony. “Hey Moshe, don’t overeat. Think of us who will have to carry you.”

The fact that humor persisted in and out of concentration camps during the Nazi era despite potentially harsh repercussions demonstrates the vital role it plays in human resilience and survival.

So we aren’t at war, or held captive, but we are scared. Scared enough that we find a need to cope with something that seems close to home and dangerous. Thankfully, humor and laughter in general,have many physical benefits that can help prevent you from getting sick…which may not save you from Ebola, but can certainly help you build your immune system from more common killers like the flu and other severe infections that have claimed more lives in their time of existence.

Seriously though, can we really be angry that people are being open about a mutual fear and concern? Yes, it may come out as distasteful humor, but the idea of sickness and death is a bit awkward. It will result in a little awkward expression. Immature? Maybe. Helpful to the human psyche? Yes. I find that when approaching touchy subjects, I would much rather approach it through humor, because it is either a choice of humor, or the devastating and difficult truth.

I find it important to remind others that human behavior isn’t meant to be perfect. It is meant to adapt for survival, and those adaptations may or may not be effective. So if making light of things we are afraid of makes us have less hysterical fear and more healthy caution…then why are we being so harsh?

Forgive this post being more subjective than objective, but this seems like an issue of perspective and opinion. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.


Online Shaming

Read a fascinating article about women who shame men online as revenge for harassment. It’s a common problem now, in the age of technology. People often harass each other (because that’s what it is we need not beat around the bush), in online environments. Though people do not often pay attention to what is or is not considered illegal, is online shaming really a good method of altering behavior? Or does it encourage that behavior in a world where the motto is “no publicity is bad publicity?”

An exerpt from The article (which can be read here):

Thirty years ago, a woman in Ramadei’s situation would have no way of determining the identity of a customer like Lederman beyond flipping through the phone book. But today, as We Are Social reports, 40 percent of the world’s population is active on the Internet, with those users operating over 2 billion active social media accounts.

Mind you this article is written from the bias of females who have a passionate investment into their cause, but hey bring up some interesting points. One suggestion they offer:

Perhaps we can’t shame men on the Internet, then, because many of them cannot feel shame, at least within the context of current social structures. Silvan Tomkins observed that shame is a feeling that emerges when enjoyment is interrupted: When we’re caught as children with our hands in the cookie jar, we feel shame because we still want the cookie even though we know we’re not supposed to have it.

If women are the cookies of the Internet, then, they’re cookies that men never feel like they can’t have. Even the tersest of responses on OKCupid is still giving an aggressive user exactly what he wants: interaction. Men’s enjoyment of women—of their bodies, their words, and even their distress—is often so thorough and so adaptable that posting their messages or threatening to call out their behavior online has little to no effect. In the absence of meaningful consequences for misogynistic behavior, many men can afford to be cavalier and carefree about their online personas.

I think everyone feels that way about their online personas. People think they can still hide behind the impression they give on their social media sites, so they become apathetic about the repercussions they could have. It’s as if the online world has stunted the maturity of some people, and has offered them some kind of emotional detachment from any virtual world gone real world consequences.

It is as if they have forgotten that we are dealing with real people, with real feelings, that can really call the cops. Not to mention the emotional effects this can have on both sides. To both parties. Is the male actually feeling shame? Is the female suffering repercussions from haters because of her choice? Is he? We can not know fully since we are not living the lives that these people are, but it is surely is having some kind of effect on their life. They are both humans with dignity after all.

What are your thoughts on online shaming? Have you done it before? Have you been a victim of it? Tell us your story.


The Newest in Social Networking

Scrolling through my social networks, I can’t help but notice all the ad space, feed interuptions, and clutter. In the modern age we really ought to be streamlining our information right? I mean, what kind of social space really needs advertisements when all I want to know is what’s up with my buds from college?

Now, I’m a big fan of Google+ for is clean and easy scan quality, as well as it’s ability to help me organize who sees what when I post it. I also am a fan of Twitter for that quick sound bite style of info and status sharing, because it’s effortless, and reduces the information to its most concise parts. But, when it comes to Facebook, I’m starting to feel like the issues I had with MySpace are rearing their ugly heads. There is too much. Too much clutter. Too much text. Too much visually happening. Too many people to keep track of posting too many things I don’t care about that I can’t really skim through. Too much to share. Too much to like. All in an unorganized blocky fashion. I desire that clean streamline design for better consumer scanning. I want effortless user interface, where it runs so smoothly that it is as easy the first time as it is years after I have used it.

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Recently, I found out about another social media site called Ello. What intrigued me about Ello, is it’s manifesto to offer you a social space that is beautifully minimalist, while also giving you AD FREE SERVICE. You read that right. Ad free. Because they are not owned by advertisers. They don’t get profit from kickbacks. They don’t want to sell out. It’s kind of the hipster equivalent of social networking.

But will it work? That depends on the community it brings.

I’m interested to see where it goes.


Eavesdropping

No this isn’t a post about Big Brother or anything like that (sorry to disappoint). It’s either a larger or smaller scale issue than that depending on your perspective.

I often kept a quote book in college. Yeah I’m a nerd. But most conversations I took the quotes from were ones I was having with others, and they never went outside of the lines pages of my grungy personal journal…unless it happened in a yearbook meeting (yeah, I was also a yearbook nerd get over it). Now that I look back a those pages, I almost wish I had made them into a blog or something (more people would probably read that than a computer ethic blog). But then again, a few things have come across my iPad screen that have caused me to think again about those feelings.

There are a few Instagram sites that have come to my attention recently that offer bits of conversations overheard in public places as featured entertainment. A kind of quote book, but much more public. Now I follow the one that I am going to share with you from an article on Design Taxi I read and it is pretty funny. Human conversations are often odd to eavesdrop on. But I was contemplating the ethics of such behavior. Do you think it is ethical to post pieces of “out of context” conversations for entertainment? Even if the person isn’t aware you’re going to do it?

Think about it. Most of what you say, you think is pretty secure. People assume no one is paying attention to the things they say in public places because their agendas are their own, but if we look deeper into the matter, perhaps we are a little too quick to enjoy what seems to be entertainment, when in actuality it is a kind of invasion of privacy.

But then again, if NSA does it, why can’t we?

I consider it this way even…is this not only a privacy issue, but also an intellectual property issue. If the words are not your own, does the person saying them have intellectual property or do you for publishing them as “original works” against the terms of agreement on Instagram? Mind you, not everyone posts original work as they ought to, but that in and of its self is an issue of privacy. Or further, is this a form of online bullying? Perhaps the work isn’t considered harmful or wasn’t posted to be intentionally so, but some of the things posted are going to receive backlash of some kind or another right? The “curator” isn’t going to have complete control over what viewers comment or say, or even if they do, they may not be able to keep up with the volume of comments to regulate what is actually being said that could potentially be harmful.

Perhaps I’m over thinking this?

Thoughts?


Women, Technology, and Freethinking

I just finished reading a fascinating article about how sexism has been an issue within the athiest movement. It’s a controversial subject, not only because it speaks against world religion, but also because it talks about issues women have had with technology use and how quickly and devastatingly it leads to harassment and threats towards other human beings on the grouds of gender and/or sexual orientation.

 

I am am not personally an athiest, but I wanted to share this article on the basis of computer ethics. It describes how hotstile the online world is towards people who are passionate about their beliefs, and how that can fuel the fire and bleed outside of the virtual world into our physical lives. Basically, it talks about one of the most mainstream forms of bullying. You know, the adult kind of bullying, where police can get involved and entire movements can be formed or brought down and either help or hinder entire people groups. It also describes some of the ugly of wester culture, which is also controversial. To to be a culture of innovation, sometimes we have to let go of the old ideas and build towards something newer and better.

This article is littered with graphic descriptions of “alleged” events, lots of swearing, and hints of the use of technology as a means of harassment as well as a means for change. Click here to read the article “Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement?:
The continuing debate over a murky sexual encounter at a 2008 convention for cheekily anti-establishment skeptics underscores a broader dilemma: How can a progressive, important intellectual community behave so poorly towards its female peers?”


2050

In case you need to kill about 45 min.


Batteries

As a person who utilizes a battery for a life saving medical device, I am a big  supporter of improving the technology of the battery. Recently I came across an article about all-liquid batteries, and became pretty interested in the cost-effective science behind them. Others have been researching how to better improve battery life and cost. Below is a video explaining the science behind creating batteries from liquid energy.


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